Armand de Gramont, Duc de Guiche, 12th Duc de Gramont (acquired from the artist in 1912)
Sale: Palais Galliéra, Paris, March 20, 1971, lot 50
Habib Sabet, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 19, 1986, lot 114)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Birmingham, Museum of Art, 1987 (on loan)
The Rodin Bronzes: Sculpture from the B. Gerald Cantor Collections (travelled to 18 locations throughout the continental United States), 1988-1994
Newark Museum; Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County Museum of Art; Dayton Art Institute & Fresno Art Museum, Rodin: Sculpture from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collection, 1999-2001
Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation (travelled to 26 museums in Canada, the United States, Australia & Singapore), 2001-2009
Frederick Lawton, The Life and Work of Auguste Rodin, London, 1906, pp. 166-67
Léonie Bernardini-Sjoestedt, "L'atelier de Rodin à Meudon," L'Art et les Artistes, no. 109, Paris, 1914, p. 32
Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, catalogued p. 109
Isabelle Leroy-Jay Lemaistre, "Romantisme," in Anne Pingeot, ed., La Sculpture française au XIXe, Paris, 1986, p. 322
Alain Beausire, Quand Rodin exposait, Musée Rodin, Paris, 1988, index
Ursula Heiderich, "Zum Briefwechsel Gustav Paulis mit Auguste Rodin," in Rainer Crone & Siegfried Salzmann, ed., Rodin. Genius Rodin. Eros und Kreativität, Munich, 1991, pp. 242-43
Émilie Silvoz, La Collection Rodin du musée Faure d'Aix-les-Bains, Grenoble, 2004, no. 38, illustration of another cast
Antoinette le Normand-Romain, ed., The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of works in the Musée Rodin, vol. II, Paris, 2007, illustrations of another cast pp. 632-33
Romeo et Juliette is an exceptional sculpture among Rodin's prolific production. Conceived during the artist's late period, this is one of the few subjects taken from English literature, and one of Rodin's only figural ensembles to include an element of architecture -- the balcony upon which the lovers are positioned. Formally, the theme recalls Rodin's earlier sculptures of Le Baiser and L'Eternel Printemps, in which a couple is united in a passionate embrace. The modeling also calls to mind the story of Paolo and Francesca, Dante's mythical paramours who were condemned to spend eternity locked in a maelstrom of passion.
Rodin first created a 55 centimeter model of this work, and rendered it in an elarged marble version in 1905 for the Russian collector Grigori Elisseïev. Today, that sculpture belongs to the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. As was customary, Rodin made plasters of this marble in order to cast the work in bronze.
According to Jérôme Le Blay, the present work is the only bronze of Romeo et Juliette created during the artist's lifetime. After the artist's death, the Musée Rodin authorized two additional casts from the Alexis Rudier Foundry. One of these bronzes, cast in 1927, is in the collection of the Musée Rodin and the other, cast in 1944, belongs to the Musée Faure d'Aix-les-Bains.
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